Research Paper

6, 7, 8

Students will be able to write a research paper on their participation in the project.

Lesson Rating 
Two Forty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • interview a leader in the organization they have chosen to volunteer.
  • write a report describing the philanthropic organization they have chosen, its history, the fund-raising activities, and the purpose of the organization, the role of volunteers, and the service components.
  • describe his or her involvement with the group and plans, if any, for future participation with this organization and its cause.
  • show evidence of prewriting, drafting, proofreading, editing, revising, and polishing.

Social Action Project: Language Arts Assessment (Attachment One)


  • Sebranek, Patrick, Verne Meyer and Dave Kemper. WriteSource 2000: A Guide to Writing, Thinking and Learning. Wilmington, MA: D.C. Heath and Co., 1995, Sections 203-219.


  1. Anticipatory Set:Students who have volunteered will have photographs or video footage of themselves from their volunteer experience. A few students should be asked to share their photographs with the class and discuss the "story behind the pictures.” The student insights about the organization’s staff and the people being served by the organization are transferable to other projects. This discussion should help the students develop some universal ideas about why philanthropy is important to a society and the different kinds of people who volunteer.

  2. Explain to the students that they are now ready to begin to put what they have learned about their organizations on paper. Facilitate a brief brainstorming of what should go into a research paper. Student responses should be written on the board and discussed. Encourage students to reflect on past experiences writing reports for social studies, science, math, and language arts.

  3. In order to guide the students’ research, present to the class a list of expectations for this research paper (see Social Action Project: Language Arts Assessment, Attachment One). Give the students the assessment guidelines for the paper so it is clear how the reports will be graded.

  4. Lead a mini-lesson on outlining. Review with the students how to organize a research paper, how to write a topic sentence, and how to write a bibliography.

  5. Give the students an opportunity to outline the information they have gathered so far and to continue with their research in the school’s Media Center.


The report will be assessed on:

content and research
grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling
demonstration of the student taking action
the writing process
use of multiple bibliographic sources

Cross Curriculum 

In order to complete this lesson, students will have to provide volunteer service to an organization selected in previous lessons

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

Handouts Coming Soon

Logo Red

Handouts Coming Soon

Please "excuse our construction dust." Our new website went live on October 1, and we are still converting the lesson plan handouts to the new system. We will have the remaining handouts live as soon as possible. Please contact us if you need any handouts immediately.  We will prioritize the conversion of the handouts and notify you when they are available.